Supporting the older generation

Funding level: Up to £1,000


OCAY is a small local charity the aim of which is to enable older people to take control of their own lives, be more independent, have reduced levels of poverty, be socially included and have their voices heard. We assist people to find out what choices are available to them. All older people should be able to have clear access to the benefits system and local services in order to maintain their independence. We inform our clients of options and support them to pursue their chosen one or we will refer them to another agency, if this is more appropriate.

We believe that all older citizens should have free access, if they so wish, to an independent advocate to assist them to achieve these aims. OCAY provides trained, supervised volunteers, who can be called upon to advocate for people who do not have family or friends to help them or who want more detached and independent help. We can also encourage and support friends and family who are advocating for an individual.

Everyone needs a helping hand now and then and asking for help is a good thing. We don’t want people to feel that they can never ask for help as together we can make a difference.

Advocacy means speaking up for people, who are not able or perhaps fully able to speak for themselves. Advocacy works by providing support to help people express their own views and wishes effectively; representing their views; providing them with independent information for making informed choices; and enabling them to achieve their goals. We don't offer direct advice, but our advocates will support service users, to access advice agencies and to be fully informed of their options in order to decide which option is appropriate for them.

Our project is aimed at raising awareness of our service in the Micklegate Ward of City of York. We know from our database that fewer people access the service in the Micklegate area. So our project is about organising monthly drop in sessions in accessible venues in the area. The project will pay for rent of space for drop ins, staff time to organise 'drop ins', flyers and posters to publicise the drop ins.

In Micklegate Ward 28% of the residents are over 50, that’s 3501 people who are eligible to use our service. However, 11.6% of residents are over 65, that’s 1,450 people and 10.8% of all households in Micklegate Ward comprise of a single person over the age of 65. We want these people to be aware of the free service that we offer and encourage them to use it if they need help or support .

So we want people to vote for our project as we offer an amazing free service that we want many people to be aware of. It is important that people know what we do and that the advocacy service is free and independent from any statutory agencies.

Our advocates are volunteers who are trained in advocacy skills and safeguarding. They have to provide two references and have a DBS check before they commence as a volunteer advocate. Our advocates can help with anything from signposting where to find information to making a benefits claim application, supporting someone through a housing problem, applying for power of attorney, complaining about home care or finding a nursing home.

Please support our project as people may need advocacy because they feel:
No one is listening to them
They've got important decisions to make
They can't get the help they need
They don't agree with decisions that are being made about them

An advocate can help by:
Helping to decide what to do
Finding out information and who to contact
Telling clients about their rights
Helping clients to access health and social care services
Going to meetings and appointments with clients
Helping to write letters and fill in forms
Challenging decisions that clients do not agree with
Making sure rights are being respected
Helping to make a complaint


Older Citizens Adocacy York

Location: York

We are proud of our project and our organisation as we offer a free independent service delivered by a dedicated team of volunteer advocates. We offer support to people when they are vulnerable and work to ensure that their voices are heard and they can make informed decisions about their own lives.
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